Tenn. CEO, Michigan Branch Manager Face Fraud Charges
A former CEO in Tennessee and a former branch manager in Michigan have been charged with multiple counts for allegedly committing fraud, forgery and embezzlement at their credit unions, authorities said.
A grand jury returned indictments Thursday against Christina Pace, 34, the former president/CEO of the $13.2 million Gateway Credit Union in Clarksville, Tenn., on 17 counts of forgery and false bookkeeping, said the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation in Nashville.
Pace allegedly altered monthly balance sheets for two years to conceal the true value of the credit union, the TBI said in a prepared statement. The credit union suffered a net loss of approximately $400,000, investigators said.
What’s more, TBI investigators also uncovered that Pace allegedly misused a corporate credit card for her personal benefit. Though the former CEO paid back the credit union after an audit discovered the issue, Gateway CU’s board of directors fired her.
Brian Dever now serves as president/CEO of Gateway CU, according to the NCUA.
Gateway CU posted a net income loss of $277,563 in 2012 and $69,836 in 2013, NCUA financial performance reports show. The credit union also recorded a net income loss of $20,855 at the end of this year’s first quarter.
In addition, at the end of the first quarter, Gateway CU’s net worth was 5.40%, below its peer average of 12.19%. The credit union’s net worth was 5.50% in 2013 and 5.85% in 2012, NCUA financial performance reports show.
Meanwhile, Michigan State Police in St. Ignace on Wednesday charged Briana Freel, 40, a former branch manager for the $47 million U.P. State Credit Union in Escanaba, with embezzlement, larceny, identification theft and using a computer to commit a crime.
In a prepared statement, police said they launched their investigation in January of “several cases of embezzlement” at the credit union’s Cedarville branch.
The embezzlement charge alleges Freel stole more than $50,000.
NCUA financial performance reports show U.P. State CU’s net worth was 8.19% at the end of the first quarter compared to its peer average of 12.19%.
Though the credit union posted net income losses of $7,743 and $96,277 in 2009 and 2010, respectively, it recorded net income gains of $202,016 in 2011, $280,573 in 2012 and $2,796 in 2013, according to NCUA financial performance reports.
Freel was free on bond and scheduled to be arraigned June 19, according to Michigan State Police.